Vice President Joe Biden cheered returning federal workers today and credited “responsible Republicans” for voting to end the budget standoff on Capitol Hill on Wednesday night and reopen the federal government.

“Look, what you saw last night is Democrats and a significant number of responsible Republicans saying enough,” he said outside the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters. “There was no economic rationale for any of this. Budgets are supposed to be fought over economic issues. There was no economic rationale for this at all. And I hope — I hope everybody walks away with a lesson that this is unnecessary, and I hope we can regain the trust of the American people.”

According to a White House pool report, he met with workers for 20 minutes and even offered some muffins. “I brought some muffins!” he said.

"168,000 people laid off. No inspections on water and air and the Everglades. These guys not only took a hit and weren't sure — I mean, the anxiety of knowing whether they'd get back or paid. But now they're back and they've got all that work piled up, so they've got a lot to do, so I'm not going to hold them up very long,” said Biden.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at